Dry hop question, bagged vs. free floating

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winvarin

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I usually put my hops in the mesh cloth bags that can be found at most shops. It tends to help keep things clean. In recipes where I am worried that the bags might affect utilization, I just toss a few extra pellets in to compensate and forget about it. The extra ounce or 2 lost to liquid being retained in the bag has always seemed negligible to me.

I am however, doing a PTE clone. With the aggressive dry hop schedule, I am concerned that bagging these hops will have a significant impact on the final volume at bottling time.

I am making the kit from morebeer.com so all of the hops I'll be using are pellets. I figure I can get more surface area contact, and minimize the possibility that I'll lose a bunch of liquid to the bags, if I dry hop this one with the hops straight into the 6 gal better bottle that will serve as my secondary. The plan for now is to sanitize the secondary and put the first round of hops in before racking. Then just rack straight onto the hops. Round 2 will just go into the neck of the carboy, right on top of the beer.

I have minimal dry hopping experience. Is there anything else I should be looking out for?
 

northernlad

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I used a bag for my first few dry hops. This was a PITA as it always stirred up a bunch of hop schwag before bottling when I tried to remove the bag from my carboy. I have also just tossed them in without a bag. I prefer the latter now as when they can sink to the bottom and stay there.
 

samc

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I'm not a beginner and use hop bags all the time, except for pellets it is not as much as an advantage. I'd dump them in and then consider cold crashing your beer at the end if the pellet sludge has not settled out.
 
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winvarin

winvarin

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I'm not a beginner and use hop bags all the time, except for pellets it is not as much as an advantage. I'd dump them in and then consider cold crashing your beer at the end if the pellet sludge has not settled out.
Also not a beginner and I use hop bags, mainly to control trub in the kettle prior to racking to the primary. I used to end up with a lot of pellet sludge and particles in the primary when I would let the hops "free float" during the boil.

It's a clarity aid but I'd not considered cold crashing as this beer is going to be bottled. I usually do not crash my bottle conditioned beers because I am concerned about dropping too much yeast out of suspension before bottling. Is this a concern?
 

Revvy

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I stopped using hopsacks after my third or fourth beer, now I just dump them in. One thing to consider, that I do, is that I rack my cooled wort to my primary with an autosiphon, and I leave most of the break material and hopscum behind in my kettle.
 
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winvarin

winvarin

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Thanks Revvy. Do you whirlpool? If so, how long do you stir and how long do you give it to spin down? I usually stir for about 30 sec and then give the wort 15-20 min before I transfer.

Also, when do you recommend whirlpooling? I usually do it after my primary chilling is complete to limit the chance of HSA.
 

Revvy

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I don't believe in HSA. I whirlpool every few minutes from the moment I turn on the chiller, till about 10-15 minutes to the end of the chill session, then let it settle down. I put the autosiphon up on the second or third coil from the bottom of the wort chiller to lift it above the bottom of the kettle, and rack till I can see it, then lower it in the dregs til the wort is out of it.
 

Gridlocked

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When I dry hop, I throw them right in to the secondary as I always gone two-stage when dry hopping. Not long ago I upgraded to a 10 gallon kettle with a spigot. I was still getting used to my boil off rate for the first two batches and in the interest of getting at least five gallons I tipped the kettle and had a SIGNIFICANT amount of hop matter make it's way into the carboy and just settle out. I only left the hop matter in for a week before wracking into the secondary with 2oz of dry hop. No adverse flavor effects noticed yet.

Either way, when I transfer, I sanitize my five-gallon-size grain bag, stick it over the end of my wracking stick to keep/filter the hops out and it works well.
 

ian-atx

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I throw the hops in, and after that week or whatever period for dry hopping, cold crash the beer and all the garbage drops out. Then bottle it up. Cold crashing will not eliminate all yeast keeping you from carbing your bottles.
 

markg388

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i still use my hop bag, but i put it at the end of my siphoning hose to catch all the free-floating little hop particles before they land in the bottling bucket. i feel like free-floating dry hops taste better too aside from just being easier.
 

Flic

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I always went to a secondary for dry-hopping but on my last IPA, I just dry-hopped right in my primary bucket near the very end of fermentation with leaf hops. Much easier since whole leaf hops just don't work well in carboys which is what I do secondaries in. I can get the leaf hops completely soaked in the bucket which I cannot do in the carboy. It was actually one of my better IPA's!
 

Bizoune

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I let 'em float in secondary. Actually it's a first hop charge at end of primary then off to secondary with a second hop charge. I rack on top of the hops with an auto siphon. I find that in a carboy, it's too complicated to get a hop sack in and out.
 

DansBrew

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I had a muslin bag rip while brewing my last batch. I just filtered my chilled worth through a deep fryer paddle that has a tight steel screen. I put a nice steel strainer under that and caught all that hop gunk plus in theory it aerated the sort by passing through the screens. I might stick with this method since the bags add cost to the brew, and I like the money saving aspect to homebrewing
 
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